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Review: Toy Story Mania at Disney Hollywood Studios, Florida

Jan 8th, 2009 | By | Category: revewz, snewz

Toy Story Mania is buckets of fun

Toy Story Mania is buckets of fun

I took the fam to Disney World recently and the #1 thing we absolutely had to try was Toy Story Mania. There are three things that I have to say about this ride: Get a fastpass, get a fastpass, and GET A FASTPASS!!! I didn’t the first time we went on the ride.

The line ride was amazing. Outside, the sign said that the wait time would be approximately 30 minutes. All of the fastpasses for the day had been taken by the time we got to the ride, which is pretty far toward the back of the park, so we figured 30 minutes wouldn’t be so bad. The latest and greatest Disney ride would surely be worth it.

The line ride begins outdoors, and accommodates women, children, the handicapped, power scooters, wheelchairs, rhinoceri, and darn near anyone else. Don’t assume that bringing grandma in her new Jazzy from the Scooter Store will get you the medical equivalent of a fastpass. It won’t. I know. I tried.

Time elapsed: 5 minutes

The line ride continues to a rather large room loaded with giant versions of classic toys. There are great big k’nex, monkeys from the barrel o’ monkeys, gigantic cards, lincoln logs, and board games drawn on the walls and ceiling. It is a perfect motif, and not only provides stimulus for the kiddies, but also provokes nostalgic sensations in parents and grandparents. Initially, you will love this room, but over time, you will grow to hate it.

Time elapsed: 90 minutes

RIP, Bro. You were delicious.

RIP, Bro. You were delicious.

It is in this room that you will have the opportunity to observe various oddities in global child-rearing, stress management, and sanity decomposition rates. If you aren’t sure how you really feel about a significant other, this room will give you more then enough of a test for your relationship. If you both come out on the other end without having killed one another, then it’s time you took things to the next level. Unfortunately for our group, we didn’t bring enough food for the journey, so we had to kill and eat my brother. Grandma offered to sacrifice herself in his place, but we still wanted to get on at the wheelchair access site.

Most parents kept their children very well behaved and right beside them for the duration of the line. There were several young children climbing on all of the displays of toys, but I’m not sure what Disney’s position on this matter is. The floors are hard, but the displays are all fairly well built. Quite a few 40 lb children were climbing on the card houses and tiddlywinks, but I wouldn’t recommend joining in the festivities as I don’t believe they are designed to support the weight of a 200 lb. grown man. People also tend to frown on strange men playing with their children.

The pièce de résistance of the line ride is Mr. Potato Head. He is huge, has a stage, is animatronic, and is the most stimulating thing in the world for a 5-year-old. To be completely honest, most adults seemed to really enjoy his schtick, too. He stands up there on his stage, microphone in hand, and tells jokes. The best part of it is when he starts calling out to specific audience members by articles of clothing. Little kids lose their minds when he calls out “Hey, you! Little Girl! Yeah, you. The one in the pink shirt.” Parents are often seen dragging their children away from this brilliant piece of machinery in the direction of the finish line. Disney seems to be aware of the draw, because they widened the lane to allow people to stand in awe of this great creation. When you get to Mr. Potato Head, you’re almost done… with the line. All that’s left is walking to pick up your glasses.

Then comes the arrival line. You walk up a flight of steps, or are directed to a disability friendly location to get on the ride. Both options take the same amount of time. I’m not sure how they do it, but we saw another line up the stairs that looked like it would take a while, and there were only 2 parties in front of us in the disability section. We thought that not having eaten grandma would finally pay off, but when we got on the ride, we saw the people who were directly behind us in line queueing up to get on the ride next. Next time we’re eating grandma… or bringing some chips.

Instead of writing an actual review for the ride, I’m just going to show it to you:

WARNING: Do not be deceived by the short line in the video.

Looks fun, doesn’t it? It is totally fun. The images look fantastic when you’re wearing the goggles. You have to pull on the string each time you shoot. If anyone has a good method for doing this quickly, please post it in the comments. By the end of the ride, your pulling arm might be a little sore.

The worst part of the ride is that when you get off of it, you will want to get back on and do it again. If you had a fastpass when you went on, you’ll be stuck with the line the second time. If you were on the line the first time, the park is probably closed by the time you finish the ride.

The verdict: It’s worth the line.

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